Parents, officials argue necessity of $2 million school security system in Belleville

An elaborate school security system was the topic of discussion at the Belleville School Board meeting Monday. District officials say the $2 million network of

An elaborate school security system was the topic of discussion at the Belleville School Board meeting Monday.

An elaborate school security system was the topic of discussion at the Belleville School Board meeting Monday. (1/27/14)

BELLEVILLE - An elaborate school security system was the topic of discussion at the Belleville School Board meeting Monday.

District officials say the $2 million network of cameras, sensors and tracking technology was installed as a direct result of the Newtown school massacre.

The system includes surveillance cameras and audio in every classroom and hallway.  Even the teacher’s lounges has video streaming directly to Belleville police.

But some parents, teachers and students have criticized the elaborate system, saying it comes with too great a loss in funds and privacy.

"People are going to do what they're going to do and they're going to find a way around it,"  says parent Chris Lamparello, who believes no security is worth such an expense. "I mean there's ways around everything, even if it costs $2 million."

Students like Kenya Pringle don't feel they need to be observed from so many different angles. "I feel like certain conversations, that are private conversations…can't go on because I feel someone is always watching or listening."

Critics say the $2 million could have been better spent at a time when teachers don't have all the textbooks and supplies they need.

Proponents say it's worth it, and argue the cost is being spread over five years.

 

 

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